This post was written by my 12-year-old daughter Katie. She is my first guest-blogger. She wrote this post in a notebook and asked me to help her edit it and put it into my blog. I was pretty emotional after I read it. She was old enough, when the accident happened, to notice how our lives were changed. She was the only one who stayed conscious in the car after the crash. She saw things no 7-year-old, no person, should ever have to see. It never ceases to amaze me how grounded she has been through all this. Tonia and I are very proud of her. (As a side note: She does over-emphasize my awesomeness. However, as long I am awesome in my kid’s eyes then I am fulfilling the one “true” reason I survived the crash.)
I think my dad is awesome. When I was younger we would watch Harry Potter movies all the time. I think we watched some of them 20+ times. I am sure he got sick of watching them, but I loved them so he would sit and watch them with me. I would tell him that I wanted to go to school at Hogwarts and he would tell me that he would miss me too much. That was my dream. Now my dad is like Harry Potter. He is famous for surviving, just like Harry. Even though I am now 12, I still wouldn’t mind going to school at Hogwarts
A lot of things changed after the accident. My dad couldn’t come outside and play soccer with me or run around in the yard. He got real tired and had to rest a lot during the day. Sometimes he would come out and play soccer, but instead of kicking the ball he would hit it with his cane. One time he fell and that scared my mom and me. He still tried to be an awesome dad for James and I, but I could tell it was hard for him. I would sit in his bed and he would help me with my homework. He would say, “If you don’t do well in school, you won’t get into a good college.” I was 8. It was my worst nightmare. I didn’t want to let my dad down. He always has encouraged me to work hard at everything I do, to never give up on my dreams. He also told me that when I was a rich and famous soccer player and business owner I would have to buy him an expensive sports car!
My dad has taught me many things, from sports to school to having a social life. For as long as I remember, I have been very social. My teachers would write on my report card, “A little too social” and my dad would say I get that from him. “It isn’t a bad thing to be social”, he would tell me. “You can’t have too many friends.”
My dad has never let me down. I don’t think he wants to let anyone down. He never says “no” to anyone and always wants to help. My dad is a great role model for people any age. Everyone can relate to what he has been through and what he has done to get better. He is my motivation to get out of bed on rainy, cold days. I know that he is in a lot of pain in the morning but he still gets up to help my brother and me get ready and then drives us to school. If it wasn’t for my dad, I don’t know how I would do anything.
Now my dad is really strong. People write stories about how strong he is now. He tries to get to the gym every day. Between working, taking my brother and me to school and getting home in time to take us to all of our events, it is hard for him to find time to workout. I don’t know how he does it. I know he wants to be the best person he can be. My dad takes me to the gym with him. He helps me build my upper body strength so I can be a better soccer player. I like to watch him workout. He is the strongest person at the gym.
My dad helps me to achieve all of my goals. He tells me that if I don’t work hard and test myself, I will not be as great as I can be. He tests himself all the time so that he can get better. He wants to get better for us. I see him in pain and it makes me sad. He tries to pretend it doesn’t hurt but I can tell it does.
I hope he is an inspiration to all of you, he sure is to me!